The Yoyo Has Stopped Reviewing the Evidence for a Low Basal Human Protein Number In Silico Analysis of Proteins: Celebrating the 20 th Anniversary of Swiss-Prot Fortaleza, Brazil, August 2006 Christopher Southan Molecular Pharmacology, AstraZeneca R&D, M ölndal
The basal (unspliced) protein-coding gene number: “transcriptional units that translate to one or more proteins that share overlapping sequence identity and are products of the same unique genomic locus and strand orientation”
However, the Guidelines for Human Gene Nomenclature define a gene as: "a DNA segment that contributes to phenotype/function. In the absence of demonstrated function a gene may be characterised by sequence, transcription or homology"
The increasing complexity of the transcriptome makes the wider definition of “gene” more difficult e.g. micro and antisence RNA
October 2004 Nature paper on finished human genome “20-25,000 protein-coding genes”
December 2005 Nature paper “The dog gene count (19,300) is substantially lower than the 22,000-gene models in the current human gene catalogue (EnsEMBL build 26). For many predicted human genes, we find no convincing evidence of a corresponding dog gene. Much of the excess in the human gene count is attributable to spurious gene predictions in the human genome (M. Clamp, personal communication).”